Agenda item

Updates from key strategic partnerships supporting delivery of the Oxfordshire Strategic Vision

For information: To receive updates from other partnerships supporting the delivery of Oxfordshire Strategic Vision.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Liz Leffman provided an update on matters considered by England’s Economic Heartland, (EEH). This has included a bus symposium looking at the pressures faced by the bus sector across the EEH sector and potential models around what action was feasible to support bus travel in the future across the whole region.

 

A successful conference had been held on sustainable modes of transport which had included a lively debate of how transport services could be improved looking at connectivity studies. Discussions were underway around improving the link between Oxford and Swindon and opening up the south of the county to with regard to rail travel. East West Rail was progressing.

 

Councillor David Rouane provided an update on recent meeting of the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and West Berkshire Integrated Care Partnership. The meeting had been provided a ranged of options around future care and his assessment of the views of colleagues from other councils across the area was that access to primary care services was a key matter of concern. A Primary Care Strategy was being developed which would be consulted upon and Healthwatch Oxfordshire were also currently holding a consultation.

 

The Chair commented that she thought this would be an area of work that the Partnership would wish to have sight of and there was a need to improve the links between the NHS and local planning authorities.

 

The Chair provided an update on the Oxford to Cambridge Pan-Regional Partnership, (PRP). A conference had been held with over 100 attendees from a broad range of groups including the Super Arc Cluster, Arc Universities Group, PRP Executive Board and PRP Non-Executive Directors, but also groups opposed to the PRP, including the Stop the Arc Group had been invited to attend.

 

The Executive of the PRP had now met on several occasions and had been looking at branding and its strategy moving forward including areas of focus. An important aim of that work was to seek to anticipate and avoid duplication with other organisations at a local government level and would add value.

 

Angus Horner commented that as member of PRP Economy Working Group he and a number of members of that group from Oxfordshire had a number of acute concerns that the emerging Investment Prospectus was not likely to show Oxfordshire or other parts of the PRP geography as the ‘Rock Star’ international investment opportunity that it was felt to be. The prospective lists of projects presented for further consideration was laudable, but lightweight in the context of what Oxfordshire had to offer. He commented that in his view, there was more work to do to decide what the area wished to present to the world as opposed to one another.

 

The Chair commented that her understanding was that this work was in its early stages and therefore there was still opportunity for influence and that her recollection had been that she thought Oxfordshire had come out well and the opportunities in Oxfordshire had been recognised. Councillor Leffman commented that she had gained the impression that there was an apparent bias within the prospectus towards sustainability and environment which was good, but there was also discussion around improving connectivity, including digital across the region.

 

The Chair asked that Councillor Leffman discuss the matter further with Angus Horner as it was important that the strengths of Oxfordshire’s economy were recognised. Nigel Tipple, the Chief Executive of OxLEP informed the meeting there was still opportunity to build in the narrative around the strength of Oxfordshire’s projects. 

 

Vale of White Horse District Council